HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG Proclaim to the World the GOOD NEWS OF THE WORLD TOMORROW
BOX 111, Pasadena, California
Publishing: The PLAIN TRUTH a Magazine of UNDERSTANDING
We are often asked how the Ten Commandments could be a law of LOVE.
Here is a way of explaining what love means — an explanation which most Christians probably never heard before!
When the Eternal RULER of the universe first placed man on this planet earth, all was perfect harmony and beauty. There was PEACE. There was PLENTY. There was BEAUTY. There was every need and facility for HAPPINESS.
In order to make POSSIBLE for man continued peaceful, happy, prosperous and joyful existence, the Eternal God designed that all things operate according to fixed, inexorable LAWS. We have the laws of physics and the laws of chemistry.
Then, of necessity, there is the great, fundamental, invisible SPIRITUAL LAW which regulates man's relationship with his CREATOR, and man's relationship with fellow MAN. The purpose of this inexorable SPIRITUAL law, like all of God's laws, is to make possible man's HAPPINESS — to bring man PEACE and JOY — to make life REALLY worth living!
When this spiritual law is broken, then varying kinds of unhappiness, fear and worry, strife and war, come in varying degrees AS THE PENALTY.
That great over-all SPIRITUAL law is just simply LOVE! It is LOVE in continual action. It is love manifest and expressed! It is love, first to God the CREATOR, in reverence, adoration, gratitude and OBEDIENCE — (because He is the SUPREME CREATOR-RULER who alone KNOWS what is right for us and has power to give it); and it is love, second to FELLOW MAN, expressed in peaceableness, co-operation, service. It is a way that travels the very OPPOSITE DIRECTION from greed, vanity, hate, strife, or war.
This great SPIRITUAL LAW is a PRINCIPLE — A WAY OF LIFE — it is an ATTITUDE OF MIND AND HEART. It is the correct way to think, and to LIVE. It is not merely moral principle — it is divinely-set-in-motion SPIRITUAL LAW, and it operates automatically and inexorably!
But since man by nature does not know WHAT LOVE IS, God had to-define this principle of LOVE by DISTINCT POINTS — the TEN COMMANDMENTS.
The Apostle John explained it this way: "For this is the LOVE of GOD, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (I John 5:3).
"LOVE," wrote Paul, "is the fulfilling of the law" (Rom. 13:10). Since no one can fulfill the law if he is breaking it, then love must be the KEEPING of the ten points of the law! He who breaks any one is guilty of all (Jas. 2:10), and is, therefore, NOT loving his neighbor.
The Creator also made man a FREE MORAL AGENT — and for a purpose! FREE TO DECIDE WHICH WAY OF LIFE HE WOULD FOLLOW! Ever since Adam in the Garden of Eden, man, somehow, has believed that the law of God is wrong and that man is sufficient unto himself. Man has followed the ways of vanity and of GREED ever since.
"Why, PRIDE," man reasons, "and the desire to GET, to accumulate, to HAVE, is the impelling motive that stimulates EFFORT, produces incentive for endeavor, spurs man on toward PROGRESS." "COMPETITION," men believe, "is the very LIFE of trade, commerce and business. It spurs men on, leads to greater production, makes for PROGRESS!" That is the philosophy of this world! That is the opposite of LOVE. That is the opposite of the TEN COMMANDMENTS!
AND THAT VERY PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE, PUT TO 6000 YEARS OF PRACTICE, IS THE ONE ROOT CAUSE OF ALL OUR HUMAN WOES!
That philosophy means that man has REBELLED against the rule and the law of God! God rules by His LAW OF LOVE — the TEN COMMANDMENTS. But God, for a great PURPOSE, made man a free moral agent. MAN CHOSE TO REJECT THE RULE AND THE LAW OF GOD, and instead has tried to govern HIMSELF and his fellows. THAT IS MAN'S GREAT MISTAKE! What man needs is to return to obedience to the Law of God which alone can restore order out of chaos!